LIS447 - Binding Obsession

Preservation and conservation services at the MIT libraries

During the last session of my Collection Maintenance class, we visited Preservation and Conservation Services at the MIT Libraries, housed in the Wunsch Conservation Laboratory. Located in the basement of Hayden Library, the department handles preservation; reformatting; shelf, exhibit, and disaster preparation; conservation treatment; and outreach. We spent some time talking with both Anne Marie Willer, […]

Acme Bookbinding and Harcourt Bindery

On Friday, our class had the privilege of touring Acme Bookbinding (and the connected Harcourt Bindery). Acme is a family business based in Charlestown, MA, and it’s an impressive operation (you can read about the company’s history here). The president, Paul Parisi, took two hours out of his busy day to show us around, and it was […]

Exhibition mounts

One of the best ways to promote an institution’s collections—especially special collections and archives—is through exhibitions. There are a number of points to consider when putting on an exhibition, but there are plenty of resources available on this topic, and since I don’t have any direct experience putting on an exhibit, I won’t be going […]

Custom protective enclosures

One of the most important skills for a preservationist is the ability to decide what treatments are appropriate in what situations. We’ve learned a number of repair techniques so far for both paper and books as a whole, and this week we covered protective enclosures—in other words, what to do when direct treatment of an […]

Intermediate book repair: Rebacking and recasing

This week’s class focused on some more advanced book repairs, rebacking and recasing. Each of these repairs involves quite a few steps, so rather than describe them here in the detail I did for the basic book repairs, I’m just going to give an overview of what’s involved with each procedure. (Trust me when I […]

Basic book repairs

This week’s class (with guest professor Steve Smith from Wellesley College) focused on book history and basic repairs to books. I won’t go into the history here, since I hope to write more about that in the fall (I’ll be taking a class called History of the Book, so I’ll have plenty of inspiration), but […]

Learning about paper repair

Friday the 17th was the first session of my Collection Maintenance class, taught by Donia Conn and held at the North Bennet Street School. It was a lot of fun. The format of the class is half lecture/half hands-on learning. This week’s focus, after the introduction, was paper, and after spending the morning learning about how […]